April 28, 2013 Subject:
Von Stroheim at his Best
A bittersweet look back at pre-World War I Vienna, by its native son, Erich Von Stroheim. "The Wedding March" is a tour-de-force in its modern acting, engaging story and sure direction from the top director-screenwriter of the 20th century. Von Stroheim, who acted in "Sunset Boulevard," "Grand Illusion" and other classics, acted in only three of his own films -- this is one. Prince Nikki, of "The Wedding March" is his most complete and complex character-- a man caught between cynicism and romance, between true love and physical desire. Fay Wray, as Mitzi, gives the best performance of her career -- and before her role in "King Kong." The story -- a member of the royalty in love with a poor commoner -- although tried before, has such twists, insights and realism, that the Russian film school, at the time, used "The Wedding March" as THE screenplay for its students as a model of perfection. The film itself is well preserved, with a color sequence early on. This silent film suffered bad timing on its original release, as 'talkies' were just coming out. But, over the years, its has gained appreciation as not only a superb example of the silent era but one of the best films of all time. It's a shame it is not available in DVD.
April 2, 2013 Subject:
Eric von Stroheim and Zazu Pitts
This has what I think of as the typical Eric von Stroheim touch; a sentimental, even melodramatic tale that may end well or tragic depending on your viewpoint. Stars von Stroheim as a poor military man who needs money and the rich Zasu Pitts character as the young woman (but with lame foot) who needs to be wed. Their marriage is arranged. What complicates matters is that Stroheim is in love with a beautiful but unacceptable young lady (poor gypsy type played by Fay Wray). Using Windows software I added some public domain classical music to this and it's funny how sometimes the music fits perfectly, of course other times, not so well, but well enough to make a DVD out of it.
I really enjoy this movie and have tracked down what I can of Stroheim, there are several in this archive.